Leicestershire v Pakistanis, Tour match, 2nd day July 9, 2010

Hameed, Amin impress in draw


Pakistanis 280 for 7 (Butt 57, Hameed 58, Amin 51) drew with Leicestershire 296 for 7 dec. (White 79, Smith 87, Tanvir 2-41)

Pakistan got a fair look at the four contenders drafted into the Test squad to fill the void for a couple of spots vacant in the batting order ahead of the first Test against Australia next Tuesday. A history of unreliable openers in the few years and the absence of Younis Khan at No. 3 prompted the selectors to pick extra batsmen in the 17-man squad to insure against any top-order collapse over the next seven weeks where Pakistan will take part in six Tests.

Imran Farhat, Yasir Hameed, Azhar Ali and Umar Amin are vying for the two positions, and the last three boosted their chance with impressive scores. Farhat, who opened with Salman Butt, the third player to cross the half-century mark on Friday, was the lone disappointment on an otherwise satisfactory outing for the visitors, who finished 16 runs adrift of Leicestershire's first-innings total at Grace Road when the teams decided to abandon the match.

Butt started in a composed fashion before playing a couple of punched drives off the new ball. He combined well with Hameed, who last featured for Pakistan in the Test series in India three years ago. Back then the pair had opened in the three Tests, including a century partnership in the second innings in Delhi, raising hopes that finally a stable opening combination had been found.

Sadly, though, Hameed was lost to injury and then form issues kept him out of the team. Today, however, Butt, leading the side, took the onus upon himself and chased the Leicester bowling pack by farming the strike comfortably while dispatching the short balls with ease. He hit three successive boundaries off Duncan Masters, with the second one, a raging cut, taking him to his half-century, immediately after which he retired out at lunch.

Hameed, whose last Test was in Bangalore in 2007, played some crisp shots and picked 10 off an over from the offspinner Jigar Naik to kickstart his innings. He continued to run the ball past the ropes with ease with some neat cover drives. At the other end, Azhar Ali, a favourite of both Waqar Younis and Shahid Afridi, was happy to just knock the ball around even if he scored at a very steady pace. But a worrying factor was his struggles against the fast bowlers which would definitely be a talking point when the think tank sits to choose the final XI for the Lord's Test.

There were no such worries for Umar Amin, who played some wristy drives on both sides of the wicket to race to the fastest fifty on the day - in 70 balls before retiring out. The 20-year-old has strengthened his chances after his 73 in Canterbury two weeks back.

Nagraj Gollapudi is an assistant editor at Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on July 14, 2010, 14:45 GMT

    What we predicted just happened, Pakistan don't have specialist test batsman, who can score runs and hold their wicket, we desperately need M.Yousef and Younis Khan, it is good that has happened, now at least PCB will realize thier mistake, these youngster are not good, I already said that before somewhere, this Umar Amin cant play, he wasnt good in sub continent pitches, how can you expect him to play well in english conditions, shoaib malik could be better choice and yasir hameed or Misbah ul haq but we need yousef and younis back in next match...

  • Imran on July 12, 2010, 11:04 GMT

    I agree with some of the posters on here that pakistan are going to need depth in thier batting for the upcomign tests against Australia and England, Pakistan have always struggled in thier batting especially against Australia. We must have 2 specialist batsmen in the middle order which at present it is clesr to see that we don't, even our openers will be make shift. We cannot play Farhat with Butt it will be a bad mistake, Farhat does not have the technique to play test matches, he also does not have the temprement to play a long test match innings. Whatever anyone says we will miss our 2 top batsmen in Yousuf and Younis, who will play 3 - 4 in my mind the best team is, Butt, Hameed, Malik, Umar Akmal, Afridi, Kamran, Razzaq, Aamir, Gul, Kaneria, Asif. I am sure Pakistan will also be weary of Asif's form as he has looked very rusty in the tour matches and has largely been out of form for the past 12 months, Come ON PAKISTAN!! We have to bat well, We should bring in Amin an Ali later

  • bla on July 11, 2010, 14:37 GMT

    This should be the team: salman butt , yasir hameed , umar amin , azhar ali , umar akmal , shoaib malik , shahid afridi , kamran akmal , mohammad amir , mohammad asif , saeed ajmal. this should be the team i think or if ajmal doesnt work we should bring in kaneria, but i still think that we should stay with ajmal because i think he is our new saqlain, or if asif doesnt work we should maybe try tanvir ahmad, i really dont think we should go with wahab riaz, ive seen him ball he is not a baller that is worth in the team when youve got players like gul asif amir akhtar. and if even tanvir ahmad doesnt work out gul should be back. i didnt go with gul earliar because i dont think gul of a test baller because he doesnt have variety he can ball yorkers and in t20 and 0dis people have to try to hit some boundris but in tests u can jast defend them.

  • Adil on July 11, 2010, 6:26 GMT


  • Dummy4 on July 11, 2010, 5:14 GMT

    Imran Farhat is a TOTAL FAILURE. The guy was the most miserable of the 5-6 openers that played the practice match. I'd rate Azhar Ali higher than Imran Farhat.

    For me Butt and Hameed should open in the 1st test, with Umar Amin coming in at no.3. Azhar Ali may have to wait a bit longer for his debut.

  • Dummy4 on July 10, 2010, 22:31 GMT

    I wud go for Butt, farhat, Hameed, Akmal, Amin, Afridi, Kamran, Amir, Gul, Ajmal & Asif. I think it is not worth gambling with Malik at this stage he can get a chance to play in the matches to come but this time Afridi will have to make his choices clear. Wish u all the best.

  • Intisaar on July 10, 2010, 19:31 GMT

    I can't believe some people have put imran farhat in there team he is not good enough to play international cricket. Those people who have seen him bat will have noticed that he cannot open for pakistan and somebody else should be given a chance. But some good comments by people. What does everybody think about younus khan playing for pakistan again?

  • shahid on July 10, 2010, 18:41 GMT

    Azhar Ali might have slight problems adjusting to swinging fast but its his first match on this outing and I am sure he will be ok when the test starts. He has shown his worth against Aussies in Australia when he played with A-team. My only worries are drop of catches, specially by Sulman Butt, Kamran and Kaneria. I hope Farhat stays on sidelines and just collects his pay check as thats the objective his father-in law must have had when he got him on the plane. Our three best batsmen are Butt, Hameed and Umar and I hope two of them score big, and then we should expect Shoaib and kamran to contribute too. My team is; Butt, Azhar Ali, Yaser Hamid, Shoaib Malik, Umar Akmal, Umar Amin, Afridi, Mohammad Aamer, Umar Gul, Kaneria, Asif.... The coach and the captain should think about changing Azhar and hameeds places.

  • John on July 10, 2010, 18:34 GMT

    @ Rukunuddin Aslam, butt has finally provided us with a bit of stability at the start of an innings and ur sayin he's useless. Don't care what you say he is defiently a must have in the team and the weakness of the squad in terms of batting only demands his presence even more. Farhat should be dropped however.

  • Dummy4 on July 10, 2010, 16:34 GMT

    This is my team:

    Salman Butt, Kamran Akmal, Yasir Hameed, Umar Akmal, Umar Amin, Shoaib Malik, Shahid Afridi, Mohammad Aamer, Umar Gul, Mohammad Asif, Danish Kaneria

    - kamran should open, because farhat score only 6, and we all remember how many catches he dropped against australia last time... - if it is a good fast bowling pitch, then drop kaneria for wahab riaz or tanvir ahmed - both are good on English conditions

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